Following on from Part One, Alexandra Dimitriou reveals exactly why she loves liveaboards in Egypt. Let her first hand experiences guide you through what to expect when exploring the Egyptian waters of the Red Sea on a liveaboard.
Dive liveaboards usually have a dive minimum. This means that if your log book is a little on the light side of 50 dives, then you’ll need a little more experience before booking your dream dive liveaboard in Egypt.
What this golden rule ensures is not only your safety, it allows you to visit dive sites that would be off the menu for the entry level diver. More remote dive sites. More autonomous dives. Total freedom to go to farthest regions of your comfort zone – for this is where the magic happens. All you do is listen to the briefing, take note of the current’s direction and get in and get out as they advise you to. The rest is up to you and your buddy.
Do you want to stay with the guide? Do you want to hang back and try to get that photo of the giant turtle we have just seen? Will you want to simply hang on a rope under the boat and see what the ocean conveyor belt brings you? Or are you a little tired and fancy a little sun on the sun deck? It really is all up to you. Do all the dives available? Skip a day? Go snorkeling and read a book? This is liveaboard life! You may not be in the driving seat, but it’s up to you what you do!
Liveaboards are Geek Chic!!
Every day is like a school day because liveaboard life means that you are surrounded by passion. Onboard, this passion for scuba diving is just an umbrella. Beneath it is every niche under the sun. Photographers with cameras the size of a space shuttles. Tec divers that resemble Christmas trees with all their different mixes hanging off them. New equipment is prepared and compared. Opinions are everywhere, and not the obnoxious type either. All divers onboard are a hive of activity that just need to share their knowledge, experience and suggestions – and everyone is a sponge for a little extra know-how. I know I am.
Food Tastes Awesome at Sea
Everything tastes so wonderful when you are on a Dive liveaboard in Egypt. Diving burns serious calories and the salty sea makes everything taste a little sweeter. The onboard chef is there for your pleasure too, making the most out of the supplies that he has carefully calculated to serve you fresh hot food after every dive. Egypt is a Muslim country and so pork is off the menu, but this is by no means a restriction. Creamy feta cheese, Egyptian Pita baked onboard, fresh roasted chicken and tantalizing curries are just a few of the delicious treats to come out of the galley. Everything is served with a smile and expectant looks to ensure that you enjoy every bite. He needn’t worry because it’s is all delicious!
Dive Before Breakfast
Dive Liveaboards in Egypt are like most in the world; you are there for the diving. I set my alarm for 5-5.30am most mornings, allowing me ample time for coffee and sunrise watching. Briefings take place a few minutes before each dive and then the boat becomes a hive of diver activity. Equipment is never dismantled – simply filled for you after each dive. That means you simply have to attach your first stage to your cylinder, get into your eternally soggy wetsuit (it never has a chance to dry because you’re diving so much) and do your buddy checks. Then it’s all go. Everyone is on the launching deck, awaiting their turn to get into the RIBs and get into the water.
You descend, you dive, you surface, you smile.
Then you eat.
Repeat up to 4 times a day.
Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? That’s because it is!
The Social Side
Diving is social, there is no denying that, but dive liveaboards are something special. The comradery that is felt just 24 hours after boarding the liveaboard is unmatched. Here you are, in Egypt, diving in unknown waters and seeing new things with people that were strangers just a day ago. You bond instantly with most passengers, because you are all sharing some pretty spectacular moments of your life. Being in the moment – and sharing that moment – gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Wetsuits are zipped up by unseen hands without asking for help. Fins are passed down the line in a silent movement that is almost muscle memory. We are all there for the same thing. Fun. Underwater fun. Most have probably waited all year to get to this point in time, and now that it’s here we realize it’s even better than we had hoped for.
After all dives are done for the day it is usual to have a beer or two. It tastes wonderful. Log books are filled in. Music plays. Everyone talks about the dives they’ve either done that day or they tell stories of their greatest hits. Gentle teasing is common. It’s just like in a big family at Christmas. Except we are on a boat. In the middle of the sea. It is suburb. It’s stunning. It’s totally badass!
It doesn’t last long however because the next day of diving is fast approaching and the anticipation starts early. Consequently, the deck starts to thin out as early as 9pm. By 10pm everyone has had their last glass of wine and heads for bed. One of the best things about being on a liveaboard is the time travel element. As you are gently rocked to sleep in your cabin, the captain is hard at work, navigating you to the next dive spot. You close your eyes to one view and wake up to another. It doesn’t get much better than that.
So there you have it. 10 reasons why a dive liveaboard in Egypt will be one of the best decisions you ever make. I loved every moment, adored every dive and made some great new friends. It was all over so quickly and I want to return as soon as I can.
Book your unforgettable liveaboard vacation in Egypt with PADI Travel today.